“….Don’t deny the diagnosis; try to defy the verdict…” — Norman Cousins
December 11th, 2008. A morning forever etched upon my heart, my mind and soul. Like that of a scar that once inflicted pain. Now, looking back, smiling in acknowledgement of how much I’ve grown spiritually, emotionally and in so many amazing ways since that time.
On the morning of December 11th 2008, I patiently and excitedly waited for my husband Chris to head off to work so that I could begin preparing my day shopping for birthday and Christmas presents. It was to be our first birthday and Christmas celebration together as husband and wife, as we had just gotten married August 16th. I was so overjoyed!
Winter is my least favorite season of the year, most people know this about me. I love the snow and think that it’s so beautiful, however I can’t stand feeling cold. However, my joy at the thought of buying presents for the love of my life and family could not be brought down in that moment, as I zipped up my winter coat, wrapped the scarf around my neck and pulled my gloves on tight.
As I drove down one street, I thought of Chris and I. Daydreaming of the future. Daydreaming of children. Christmas traditions perhaps we might like to create within our own family. Reflecting on how thankful I was to have found such a wonderful life partner and extended family. Excited for our birthdays coming up! Turning down another street, I thought about what I might want to get each person for Christmas and just how beautiful the winter landscape looked. The sun glistening upon the snow causing it to look like a mound of diamonds on a sheet of white. Picket fences drizzled with snow. “If only I could stand the cold…” I thought… The light turned green and it was time to make a left turn. The turn that would forever change my life.
Moments after taking the turn, my vision began to weaken and my body suddenly began to fall limp. With just enough strength and coherent ability left, I dragged my foot over to the break and laid it down upon the break pedal and willed my body to turn the steering wheel away from oncoming traffic before all faded to black.
In meeting with law enforcement, it was later discussed with my husband and myself that I had driven through an entire front yard, jumped two concrete curbs, through two fences and slammed into a large pine tree. Doctors and neurologists eventually sat my husband and I down after reviewing tests from my seizure at age 16 and tests at that time and informed me that I indeed had epilepsy. ( Read My Extended Blog “In The Beginning“)
December 11th marked the beginning of my journey. Three days before my husbands birthday. Five days before my birthday. Two weeks before Christmas.
“Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny” — C.S. Lewis
It has now been six years since being diagnosed with epilepsy. Six years along this journey and going strong. There have been bumps in the road, sure! This road is not smooth sailing but I’ll tell you one thing for certain. This road is not a road walked alone. I am so immensely thankful for my relationship with God who has kept me strong every single step I take along the way and the family that I have and the friends I meet. It is truly inspiring and continually gives me hope and allows me to give back in return.
Do I believe in a cure for this condition? Absolutely. With all my heart I do. For each and every one of us on the journey of epilepsy, I want to give my all to help the day arrive as quickly as it can. It is the beat of my heart to keep hope and faith alive and thriving for all of us on this very journey.
We are all in this together!